§ Order for Committee read.
§ House in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 1 (Public Worship),
said, that this was another piece of Admiralty tinkering in the present year. This Bill had for its object to amend an Act which became law on the 17th of August last, and did not come into operation until the 1st of April, and they were now, after four months experience, asked to amend that Act. Besides, this Bill came down from the Lords, but the noble Lord, so far from accepting it as is it came down, had a whole paper of Amendments to propose.
§ LORD CLARENCE PAGET
begged the Committee to remember that the Navy had been governed by an old Act of Parliament, with scarcely any or but very small Amendments for the last two hundred years. He would ask, then, whether it ought to be a matter of surprise when they were called upon to frame a new Act for the entire government of a service like the Navy, not having a previous Act like the Mutiny Act, which, however, received Amendments 1778 almost every year to make it suitable to to the age—he would ask whether in the Navy there might not arise some matters which they would wish to see amended from time to time? As regarded the working of the Act there had been no great difficulties, but as they were no great law-years in the Navy it was thought better, instead of two Acts to have but one, and to call it by the name of the Act for the Government of the Navy. The Amendments which he had to propose were, with two exceptions, purely verbal.
Clause agreed to; as were also Clauses 2 to 44.
§ Clause 46 (Punishments),
wished to know if there was any power of commuting the punishment of death in foreign states?
said, that Clause 60 said, "where the sentence has been commuted," but there was no power to commute given to the Commander-in-Chief.
§ LORD CLARENCE PAGET
said, he would introduce a clause on bringing up the Report, to meet the case suggested.
§ Clause agreed to, as were Clauses 46 to 55.
§ Clause 56 (Summoning Witnesses),
said, this clause provided that a witness who had appeared before a court-martial and had prevaricated might be brought before a Court of Law. He could not see how such a clause could be noted on. How could any Court judge of a witness who had prevaricated before another Court?
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Remaining Clauses agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow.
§ House adjourned at Half-after Twelve o'clock.